Starting at Drukgyel Dzong, Paro this trek passes through scattered hamlets and farmland, into a deep and richly forested valleys, which leads to a high alpine pastureland where yak herders graze their animals. The trek offers a taste of great variety of Bhutanese landscape.

Chomolhari-trek-bhutan Season : The ideal time for this trek is April to June and September to November.

Day 01 : Arrive Paro

Druk Airways flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom.

On arrival at Paro airport, after immigration and custom formalities, received by our representative and transfer to the hotel.

Afternoon visit to  Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), “ the fortress of the heap of jewels”, built in 1646, and now housing the offices of the district administration and Paro’s monk body.

Later drive to Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, it is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)

Day 02 : Paro

After breakfast, embark on excursion to Taktsang monastery (approx 5 hours round trip walk). This most of Bhutan’s monasteries is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress, and meditated at this monastery, hence the monastery is also called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. Though the climb is steep, the journey is most worthwhile on account of the superb views en route.

Afternoon visit to Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as a watch tower and in 1968 inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum. The collection includes art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, postage stamps, coins and handicrafts as well as a small natural history collection.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)

Day 03 : Paro – Shana, 17 km, 5 - 6 hours walk

The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail then climbs gently through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. Later on we come to  apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens and we reach the army post of Gunyitsawa (2,810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond  Sharma Zampa (2,870m), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.

Day 04 : Shana – Soi Thangthangkha, 20 km, 7 - 8 hours walk

Chomolhari-trek-bhutan The trail again follows the Pa Chhu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for a hot lunch. Then we continue along the river, climbing upwards through rhododendron forests and crossing the river once more before reaching our campsite (3,750m).

Day 05 : Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang, 14 km, 5 - 6 hours walk

The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch is served at a  yak herder’s camp. A short walk from here into the valley will takes us  to our campsite at Jangothang (4,040m). From here, the views of Mount. Chomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

Day 06 : Jangothang – Lingshi, 18 km, 7 - 8 hours walk

The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right bank. We now start  our climb up to the first ridge, enjoying breathtaking view of Mt. Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsrim Khang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb to the Nyele-la (4,700m). We descend gradually from the pass to our campsite at Lingshi (4,000m), enjoying the panoramic view of the mountain peaks and Lingshi Dzong as we walk.

Day 07 : Lingshi – Shodu, 22 km, 8 – 9 hours walk

The Laya – Gasa route leaves the Chomolhari trek route here. Our trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chu valley. The trail stays on the west side of this largely treeless valley, climbing steeply a short distance above the Mo Chu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli-la pass (4,820m). On a clear day, you can see Mt. Chomolhari, Gangchhenta, Tserim Khang and Masang Gang from this pass. Descend alongside a stream to a rock shelter in the cliff face, and then continue on downstream till reaching Shodu  (4,100m), where we will camp in a meadow with a chorten in it.

Day 08 : Shodu – Barshong, 16 km, 6 - 7 hours walk

We are now back at the tree line, and out path follows the course of the  Thimphu Chu (river), descending through rhododendron, juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views of rocky cliff faces and waterfalls along the way is stunning. We stop at the riverside for a hot lunch. Then the trail takes us gradually upwards to the ruins of Barshong Dzong (3,600m), near which we camp for the night.

 

Day 09 : Barshong – Dolam Kencho, 15 km, 5  - 6 hours walk

The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifers, then drops steeply to meet Thimphu Chh (river). The trail runs along the left bank of the river,  climbing over ridges and descending into gullies where side streams runs down into the river. The final stage of the trail climbs around a cliff face high above the Thimphu Chu river, coming out onto pastureland where we camp for the night at 3,600m.

Day 10 : Dolamkencho – Dodena – Thimphu, 8 km, 3 hours walkChomolhari-trek-bhutan

The trail winds in and out of side valleys above Thimphu Chhu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3,510m. The trail then drops steeply to the river and following it southward to the roadhead at Dodena, (2,600m). The transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimphu.

Evening visit to Trashichhoedzong : This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.

Afterwards drive to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu. (Altitude 2,320m)

Day 11 : Thimphu – Paro

After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following : the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later visit Textile Museum, which provides insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form. Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people.

After lunch, visit to :

Takin Preserve : The Takin is the national animal of Bhutan, and looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drupa Kunley, and it can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas. Taxonomists place the animal in a category of its own as it is not similar enough to any other animal to fit established categories.

Changangkha Lhakhang : It is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. The temple was established in 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who came from Tibet. The central statue here is Chenrezig in a manifestation with 11 heads. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley.

Chomolhari-trek-bhutan King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace.

Later drive to Paro en route visiting Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the country which now houses the School for Buddhist studies.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m)

Day 12 :  Depart Paro

After breakfast, transfer to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.